Managing healthcare facilities is becoming increasingly vital and difficult. Learn about the six most important roles of healthcare facility management.Any healthcare facilities management (HFM) department’s main goal is to provide an extraordinary level of care while also ensuring the safety and security of both patients and staff.
As the COVID-19 epidemic draws to a close and technology advances, maintaining healthcare facilities is becoming increasingly crucial – and increasingly difficult to manage. A facilities manager’s work is becoming increasingly difficult, whether it’s maintaining certification compliance or guaranteeing cyber security.
Meaning of Healthcare Facilities
The development, maintenance, security, and operations of a healthcare facility are all under the supervision of healthcare facilities management. This involves every aspect of facility upkeep and includes any building that delivers healthcare services, such as clinics, long-term institutions, surgical centers, and hospitals.
Role of a Healthcare Facilities Management
The facilities management department, abbreviated as HFM, is in charge of overseeing healthcare facility upkeep, operations, and general security. This includes anything from managing huge construction projects to ensuring government compliance to regular cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep.
Let’s hop on to the six fundamental functions of a healthcare facilities management
1. Managing Day-To-Day Operations
There are several operations that are to be taken care of let’s know them one by one.
Facilities managers’ day-to-day responsibilities include:
• Creating safety policies and maintenance schedules
• Identifying repair or renovation requirements
• Supervising new construction design
• Coordinating building repairs and construction contractors to guarantee code compliance
• Monitoring the condition of medical equipment and supplies
• Assuring statutory and facility compliance
• Regularly conducting life and fire safety assessments
• Inspections of medical gas, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems
• Assuring that all structures meet security requirements
• Utility management and electrical engineering supervision
• Cleaning and organising patient rooms, waiting rooms, operating rooms, and other areas
• Furniture and equipment procurement and installation
• Building inspections to detect present or developing structural problems
• Developing and maintaining budgets for facility operations
• Contracting with outside suppliers and service providers
• Organizing workplace cleanliness and safety initiatives
While HFM professionals may not individually perform each of these roles, they often act as the day-to-day manager, overseer, and final authority on broad decisions.
2. Compliance and Certification
Maintaining certification and building compliance is vital to any healthcare organization’s performance, and it’s one of the most important jobs a facilities manager does. Facility managers are responsible for ensuring that facilities comply with legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as managing the ongoing maintenance of certifications and accreditations such as those granted by The Joint Commission.
3. Ensuring A High-Quality Environment Of Care
Providing a safe and reliable Environment of Care (EoC) for patients is important to every healthcare facility’s goal. This encompasses both inpatient and outpatient settings at any healthcare facility where patients are treated. The EoC’s main purpose is to create a safe and efficient workplace for patients and employees.
HFM teams are entrusted with conducting routine inspections in and around healthcare institutions to identify and remedy any areas of concern, such as:
• Monitoring for fire
• Checking emergency power
• Taking care of water management
• Handling air management
HFM teams typically collaborate with hospital leadership to develop detailed EoC strategies and policies that protect patients, visitors, and employees.
4. Managing Construction Projects
While facilities management teams do not directly manage or lead construction projects, they are heavily involved throughout the process and are in charge of keeping projects on schedule and within budget.
Healthcare facilities managers are also in charge of capital plans for future facility investment as well as the ongoing maintenance of facilities and assets.
5. Maintaining Security
Security is a top priority in the healthcare industry as a whole. For facility managers, this may entail overseeing:
Access – Who can get in and out of the healthcare premises.
Surveillance – Visual documentation in real time, as well as heat maps and foot traffic maps.
Data privacy and integrity, including patient data and electronic medical records, are protected by equipment safety.
As the healthcare business becomes more reliant on technology and migrates to the cloud, the demand for better cyber security among facility management grows. With the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more common in hospitals, facilities management teams are collaborating with IT to develop cybersecurity plans that will protect patient care data from hackers who may use older operating software to gain access to the organization’s networks and steal sensitive patient information and research data, or to disable systems that could jeopardise the safety of facilities and equipment.
The volume and intensity of cyberattacks against hospitals and health systems grew in the second half of 2020, and experts believe there will be more in the future.
Anyone working in healthcare facility management should be aware of these types of assaults and work closely with their IT teams to secure and monitor their devices for exploitable weaknesses.
6. Preventive Maintenance
Hospital maintenance is a difficult undertaking for any team, especially if present approaches are reactive in nature.
HFM’s team is able to conduct routine maintenance before difficulties arise, lowering the amount of requests they receive and increasing the life of their assets, ensuring equipment is performing at its best. It can also result in:
• Equipment downtime is reduced.
• Staff and patients are safer now.
• High Labour efficiency by the workers of maintenance
• Equipment durability is increased.
• Maintenance and purchase costs are reduced.
Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has given healthcare organisations the authority to implement defensible alternative equipment maintenance (AEM) programmes, which allow a healthcare facility to adjust its facility and medical equipment maintenance, inspection, and testing frequency from what the manufacturer recommends based on a risk-based assessment by qualified personnel. Providers can save significant money by implementing AEM programmes while maintaining patient safety and care.
Hospital Facility Management’s “New Normal”
Patient and provider safety is influenced by facility maintenance and plant operations. A top-notch facilities maintenance team, with knowledge of patient care and technical solutions, can assist any hospital avoid disease transmission while also ensuring compliance and security.
While many businesses strive for a quick return to “normal,” hospital facility managers must face the harsh fact that the previous normal may never return. The road to an informed, contemporary facilities management staff is getting more difficult for many hospitals. From dwindling margins to an aging workforce, hospitals are increasingly confronted with difficulties that jeopardise their entire functionality and efficiency at best, and patient care at worst.
To counteract dwindling margins and growing expenses, healthcare organisations are utilizing a range of techniques. Many hospitals have cut costs and improved efficiencies in their operations. Long-term viability, however, may necessitate a significant digital change of service organization and delivery.
A sophisticated facility management solution for healthcare and hospitals can help.
To sum it up
Healthcare facilities management remains critical to providing the best possible patient care. Managing Healthcare facilities can help take healthcare businesses into the future by managing day-to-day operations and helps in development, maintenance, security and operations of the facility.